If you weren’t busy watching Jon Stewarts departure on The Daily Show or the subsequent Republican debates, you may have noticed Dr. Dre’s unveiling of his first album in 16 years. Named “Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre”, the 16-track album is said to be his last record and accompanies the release of the upcoming N.W.A film “Straight Outta Compton”, which comes out Aug. 14. If you were vigilant, you were able to get a free streaming preview of the new album via Apple Music from 6 p.m to 9 p.m last night. However if you missed the opportunity, don’t fret, the album officially released today in its entirety exclusively on iTunes and Apple Music.
“During principal photography of Straight Outta Compton, I felt myself going to the studio and being so inspired by the movie that I started recording an album,” said Dre on The Pharmacy. “I kept it under wraps, and now the album is finished. It’s bananas. It’s an ‘inspired by’ album. It’s inspired by Straight Outta Compton, we’re gonna call the album ‘Compton: The Soundtrack’. I’m really proud of this.” He went on to described the album as being his ‘grand finale’.
The Compton artist has been highly regarded in the music scene for rapping on and producing some of the most influential hip-hop tunes of all time, including but certainly not limited to: “California Love”, “Nothing But a G Thang”, “Still Dre”, and “Smoke Weed Everyday”, among many others. On top of collaborating with many artists, the rapper/producer/entrepreneur helped bring tons of others into the spotlight like Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Eminem, 50 Cent, and The Game.
Dre has been relatively quiet on the music front over the past several years, as he and Jimmy Iovine have been working on building up the Beats Electronics empire. Since working on semi-recent productions for Kendrick Lamar and Slim the Mobster, the multi-platinum artist’s release of ‘Compton‘ will be the first musical endeavour since his 1999 record – titled “2001”. The new album features tons of artists whom he has worked with and is currently interested in, including Jon Connor, Eminem, DJ Silk, and Anderson Paak.
The full list of collaborators on Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre is as follows:
- Marsha Ambrosuis. British Singer. Appears on the tracks “Genocide”, “All in a Day’s Work”, “Darkside/Gone”, and “Satisfaction”.
- BJ the Chicago Kid. An up and coming rapper currently working on his debut album. Appears on the track “It’s All on Me”.
- Bink. Producer. Credited for the track “It’s All on Me”.
- Asia Bryant. Singer songwriter. Featured on the track “Just Another Day”.
- Cardiak. Producer. Credited for the tracks: “Deep Water” and “For the Love of Money”.
- Cold 187um. Rapper, producer, and member of former Ruthless Records crew ‘Above the Law’. Featured on the track “Loose Cannons”.
- Jon Connor. An up and coming Michigan rapper also working on his debut album. Appears on the tracks “One Shot One Kill” and “For the Love of Money”.
- Dem Jointz. Producer. Credited for work on “Genocide”, “Deep Water”, “Satisfiction”, and “Medicine Man”.
- DJ Dahi. Producer. Helped work on “Talk About It”, “All in a Day’s Work”, and “Deep Water”.
- DJ Premier. Producer and Co-founder of the hip-hop duo ‘Gang Starr’. Worked on the track “Animals”.
- DJ Silk. Producer and member of the ‘Ginuwin Draftz’ production team. Credited for the final track of the album “Talking to My Diary”.
- Sly “Pyper” Jordan. Vocalist. Appears on “Loose Cannons”.
- Focus. Producer from Atlanta. Credited for work on “Deep Water”.
- Jill Scott. Vocalist. Sings the hooks on the track “For the Love of Money”.
- Justus. Rapper. Appears on tracks “Talk about it” and “It’s All on Me”.
- King Mez. Rapper. Appears on “Darkside/Gone”, “Satisfiction”, and “Talk About It”.
- Mista Choc. Also a member of the Ginuwin Draftz team. Helped work on “Talking to My Diary” alongside partner DJ Silk.
- Anderson Paak. Vocalist. Appears on “Medicine Man”, “Issues”, “Animals”, and “All in a Day’s Work”.
- Candice Pillay. South African singer. Appears on tracks “Genocide” and “Medicine Man”.
- Xzibit. LA rapper and former host of MTV’s “Pimp my Ride”. Makes an appearance on “Loose Cannons”.
- The Game. Fellow Compton rapper. Appears on “Just Another Day”.
- Ice Cube. Fellow NWA member and longtime friend of Dre. Appears on “Issues” alongside Anderson Paak.
- Snoop Dogg. Rap veteran, and another long-time friend of Dre. Featured on tracks “One Shot One Kill” and “Satisfiction”.
- Eminem. Rapper, friend, and former protoge of Dre. Appears on “Medicine Man”.
- Kendrick Lamar. Compton Rapper. Appears on tracks “Genocide”, “Darkside/Gone”, and “Deep Water”.
The album has already received mixed reviews, with some calling it a masterpiece while others claiming it’s mediocre and full of outdated references. One cannot deny the passion put into this project however, with some tracks using nostalgic beats reminiscent of his time growing up in Compton and others seemingly taking inspiration from other more recent movements in the hip-hop scene. Plus, regardless of whether or not you personally enjoyed the album, you simply have to respect Dre for all that he’s done for the rap game and the fact that even after all these years he’s still so enthusiastic about music.